Far East Hospitality Trust to pay lower distributions than forecast

Far East Hospitality Trust will pay unitholders 1.42 cents per unit for the fourth quarter of last year, missing forecasts of 1.45 cents per unit.

The Singapore-listed hotel real estate investment trust (Reit) also posted lower revenue and net property income than it expected.

Revenue for the three months to Dec 31 last year came in at $33.6 million, 3 per cent less than forecast, while net property income was 2.4 per cent below forecasts at $30.4 million.

"In spite of the challenges in the macroeconomic and operating environments, the average occupancy of our hotels and serviced residences remained high," said Mr Gerald Lee, chief executive officer of the Reit's manager.

"The weaker results of our hotels were balanced by that of our serviced residences and retail and office spaces, which continued to turn in sustainable performances for our portfolio."

The average occupancy of Far East Hospitality Trust's hotels for last year was 86.4 per cent, or 1.6 percentage points above forecasts.

But the average daily room rate for the hotels came in 10.8 per cent below forecasts at $191.90. This was due to "industry-wide challenges including price competition, subdued business travel spending and slower leisure traffic from some regional markets, due to the depreciation of their currencies", the Reit said.

Its serviced apartments had an average occupancy of 89 per cent last year, 1 percentage point lower than forecast, but the average daily rate was $255, or 1.8 per cent above forecasts.

The Reit's manager said it is planning renovations at four of the Reit's hotels - The Elizabeth Hotel, Village Hotel Albert Court, Village Hotel Changi and Regency House - for this year.

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